Saturday, January 24, 2015

Something Like Winter - French Onion Soup

Winter in Austin, Texas is a strange thing. As a New Englander, I thought that up North we had the most haphazard weather (freezing one minute, hot the next, rain, sun, thunderstorms in the same day, winter too long and summer too short), but Austin is definitely giving it a run for its money.

The sun makes me happy,
and so does my favorite dress.

In the past week in Austin I've been able to wear a winter coat and a sun dress. It's been 30s and it's been near 70. I went from living in an endless winter to enjoying a sort-of winter with bits of summer in between.




Hey, I'm not complaining. That's why I moved here! I need the sun, I like it popping in to say hello like this. The days of the week I can bask in the sun like a cat are worth the days I have to turn up the heat and curl up WITH my cat (and dog) instead.

And if I have this soup, all the better.

Just look. at. that. CHEESE!



French Onion Soup has been on my culinary bucket list for years. My fiancé's mom makes the most amazing version of this, and it's what I request whenever we visit. She typically pairs it with homemade popovers (with butter and honey those are absolutely amazing) but I haven't had the guts to try that one yet.

This recipe is a combination of what she showed me over Christmas, and Alton Brown's dummy-proof recipe. The result was pretty fantastic, and I highly recommend you make this the next time a chill comes through. Bursting with flavor, paired with toasty bread and gooey cheese. Delicious.




French Onion Soup
(Loosely based on Alton Brown's recipe)

  • 5 yellow onions (or a combination of yellow and red), sliced to 1/4" thick
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups mild red wine
  • 5 cups beef broth
  • 2 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 slices baguette, toasted and brushed with butter
  • 4 slices provolone cheese


-In a large dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Once melted, add a layer of onions and sprinkle with salt. Continue until all onions are in the Dutch oven.

-Cover the dutch oven and let onions sweat for at least 15 minutes. After the onions look shiny and wet, gently stir. Add the pepper and sugar. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep caramel in color.

-Once onions have reduced to about two cups, pour in the wine. Turn heat to high. Let the wine reduce until thick, about 7 minutes or so.

-Add the broth, stock cubes, sherry vinegar, thyme, bay leaves, and parsley. Simmer for 20 minutes.

-Remove thyme and bay leaves. Heat oven to broil.

-Pour into four croques or heat-save bowls set on a cookie sheet. Place bread and a slice of provalone over each. Broil until cheese is bubbly. Serve hot.

34 comments:

  1. I have never tried French Onion Soup but after seeing your recipe I need to start now.

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    1. It's easier than you'd think to make! Just a little time consuming caramelizing the onions...

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  2. Yum! This soup is onion cheesy goodness! Could use a bowl right now! I hear ya on winter...it's pretty much the same here in South Georgia!!

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    1. Better warm than up north right now--my family is under a foot of snow!

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  3. That ooey, gooey cheese is calling my name! This looks great, Ashley!

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    1. I have to approve comments before they appear, that's why the first one didn't post ;)

      Glad you're enjoying my recipes so much, Chad! :D

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  5. I absolutely LOVE French Onion Soup. I wish I could be digging in right now!

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  6. This soup looks amazing!! It's summer here but all the way down here we get winter-like days in the middle of a week of 90 degree days. This soup sounds perfect for those days. And that cheese... Yes please!

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    1. Are you in Australia? I'd love to just head south during our winter, to have summer all year round! ;) The hot-and-cold used to happen to me in Massachusetts, too though.

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  7. The weather here is all over the place too! It was 19 degrees at one point and today was super sunny and like 57! Craziness.

    Love love love french onion soup! This looks fantastic!

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    1. Are you in New England? That definitely happens there!

      And thank you! :D

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  8. Believe it or not, I am French and I had not made my first French onion soup until last month ;-) Yours look fabulous. Great job Ashley!

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    1. Is it really from France? Or is it like French Fries where it's named after the cooking technique--here I suppose it'd be tons of wine! ;) You should try to make some!

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  9. Mmmm, pardon me while I wipe the drool off my keyboard. This looks awesome! I've yummed it to make later.

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    1. YAY! I need to figure out yummly, I feel like it'd be helpful to me...

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  10. Um...Cory's mom sounds epic (popovers with french onion soup!? YUM) and this soup looks amaaaaazing! (and shut up I'm jealous of your sundress days! :P)

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  11. Yum! French Onion Soup is a favorite at our house and Cory's mom's version sounds incredible with popovers! I must try that soon. Well, basking in the sun like a cat is the way to live. Isn't it? By the way...I love the colors and print of your favorite dress!

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    1. Aw, thank you! I love it too. It's a cheap dress, and the pattern is already starting to fade... it's 60% off at American Eagle right now and I'm on the fence about buying another one and keeping it in tip top shape, hah...

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  12. That is so funny. I moved to Austin from New England as well. You are so right about the drastic weather changes :-) I was there about 12 years before being relocated to CA. This soup recipe looks wonderful with that gooey cheese on top.

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  13. We've had some crazy weather in Seattle, too. Almost touched 70 degrees a couple times this month. But I'd still eat French Onion Soup! I look forward to you tackling those popovers.

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  14. That is some irresistible cheesy goodness atop this soup! I love French Onion and would happily eat it in any weather.

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  15. Ashley,
    My then-boyfriend and I celebrate birthdays a week apart. For his birthday, a few weeks after we'd met, I cooked him dinner including French Onion Soup. I think it's part of the reason we got married.
    I love your photo of all that cheese--nicely done!
    Oh, and for the record, our dogs prefer the sunbeam that's on my foot as the prime snuggling spot and fight over it like . . . well, dogs.

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  16. French onion soup is on my bucket list too! I need to stop being so Damn lady and get with it. Your soup looks delicious. All that cheesy goodness does things to my belly.

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  17. This soup is perfect for this kind of weather we are having. Thanks for sharing!

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  18. Ashley, what a delicious looking French Onion Soup - I think it is one of my very favorite soups of all times and your presentation in this very cute green mini porcelain casserole dish is just wonderful!
    Hope life is treating you well!
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Andrea

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  19. I'm in Maine in the tundra and would love a bowl of your delicious soup!

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  20. Oh my! I am loving that photo with the melty stringy cheese. *Drool* French Onion soup is one of my favourites!

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  21. I love French Onion Soup and this looks fantastic! Thank you very much for joining in the celebration of #purebloglove, we enjoy having you each week. I hope to see you on Thursday at 8PM, EST through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

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